Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Sojourner Child of God

That was the name, ironically, of my short-lived column at UPI's Religion and Spirituality forum. Going through my records from several years ago I discovered I had 12 articles published by UPI:

A higher calling
Commentary: Sojourner Child of God
Now for the hard part - repentance and change. That's why we call it "conversion," and nobody ever said the quest for the Kingdom of God was going to be pretty.

Does God still heal people? Will he heal my AIDS?
Commentary: Sojourner Child of God
I cried out to God: "I don't know what to do. I know you can heal me, but what am I supposed to do for myself?" I also know AIDS has helped me to stay celibate, as the Bible prescribes for all singles.

Sheik Palazzi and the Apostle Paul
Commentary: Sojourner Child of God
Christian historians know Paul's ministry reached out to the new Gentile followers of the Jewish Jesus, but Paul did not write off Judaism as the religion of a bygone age.

God-given names
Commentary: Sojourner Child of God
It's not common, but neither is it unscriptural for God to give someone a new name on earth. We already know that God promises to give us each a new and unique name in His Kingdom.

Brokeback Mountain Blues: Thoughts of a celibate, gay Christian
Commentary: Sojourner Child of God
Writing from the depths of my struggles, as a celibate homosexual and a Christian, Brokeback Mountain forcibly brings all these tumultuous thoughts, tormenting conflicts of interest and personal struggles to the surface, surging like lava from

Does it make any difference which day we observe as Sabbath, as long as we keep one day in seven?
Commentary: Sojourner Child of God
Did God create the Sabbath only for the Jews?

Sneak preview of God's Kingdom
Commentary: Sojourner Child of God
What will we look like in the resurrection? Do we go to Heaven or pray "Thy Kingdom Come?" Didn't Jesus say "the meek shall inherit the Earth?"

Why I no longer celebrate Christmas
Commentary: Sojourner Child of God
Should Christians celebrate Christmas? Can a pagan holiday be converted? Does it matter what God thinks?

Memories of Mama Evans
Commentary: Sojourner Child of God
How a loving Christian woman from the South touched so many lives in the North.

International House of Prayer for Jerusalem
Commentary: Sojourner Child of God
Christians, Jews and Muslims, descendants of Abraham the "father of many nations," are invited to cooperate in the construction of the long-awaited "House of Prayer for All Peoples."

We are God-beings in the making!
Commentary: Sojourner Child of God
Converted from carnal to divine? Transformed from fallen human to heavenly being? What exactly is the end result of our conversion process? What are we literally destined to become?

Scarlet Letter: a Christian with AIDS
God has finally found a way to keep me celibate.
I look past the stigma of being a Christian writer with AIDS, and make my offering. God promises that everything works together for good, for those of us who are called according to His wonderful purpose.

My sojourn at UPI came to an abrupt end when I refused to write the opinions of Larry Moffit, founding editor, UPI, as my own.

My final commentary submitted was called,

Which Way Europe?
Commentary: Sojourner Child of God
Europe, under Muslim pressure, stands at the crossroads. Will they have a backlash against Islam led by the Vatican and Germany (the traditional Defender of the Faith), or wear a burka and submit to sharia?

Mr. Moffitt offered constructive criticism and I applied it. Then he replied:

There are far more choices than these two extremes. There is the choice of peaceful co-existence.
Which is more the current norm today.
This column doesn’t make it."

I strongly disagreed:

Whether folks want to face harsh reality or not, it will boil down to Catholicism or Islam, and Catholicism will prevail."

LM: And I am saying it’s not necessarily an either/or “prevail” scenario.

DBA: Again, that's YOUR opinion. Write your own article about it rather than demand I write in accordance to YOUR views.

LM: Your column further pours oil on the fire.

DBA: That is your opinion. Others would appreciate "my" column's honesty in facing reality and speaking the plain truth, however politically incorrect.

I questioned whose article it was meant to be.

LM: It is YOUR opinion piece.

DBA: Then what's the problem?

All opinions expressed belong to the writers
alone, and are not necessarily shared by
UPI Religion & Spirituality Forum.

LM: But I have to be responsible for maintaining the standards of the forum.

DBA: Here you will find a "big tent" with diverse expressions of faith and spirituality.

Censoring my expressions of faith and spirituality because you don't necessarily share them is lowering the standards, I'm grieved to say.

You critiqued my article, as an editor should. I made the corrections and you've rejected it because you disagree with it. That is not a "big tent" but a pup tent where only lap dogs would feel welcome. I am a "passionate and prolific writer," [as he initially complimented me] not a neutered ghost writer. I would hope you would appreciate that fact or don't conservatives have equal time?

David Ben-Ariel is a Christian-Zionist writer and author of Beyond Babylon: Europe's Rise and Fall. With a focus on the Middle East and Jerusalem, his analytical articles help others improve their understanding of that troubled region. Check out

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